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This is one of those fancy restaurants that I have been meaning to check out for a very long time, yet have never gotten around to it. I simply didn’t remember, but finally after years, I had to opportunity to try out Ai Fiori. Several nights ago we celebrated both my wife’s parents birthdays, they are one week apart so we did the combo thing. The restaurant of choice was Ai Fiori. There was nothing I could about the little holes on my old shirt at that point, or my uncleaned eyebrows, but I did shave and gel up my hair for them after a quick workout! Hahaha.
Right off the bat, I have to tell you that Ai Fiori is not cheap, it is a high end restaurant, and my impression was that most of the people in there were financially well off. I think I may have said something along the lines of “Damn yo, everyone in here looks rich, and I got on this old shirt with holes in it! Gangsta!
As one would expect from a fancy place, we started off with a tiny little soup in a cup, parsnip pear soup. Something that if you told me 10 years ago I’d be consuming I would have laughed in your face. But you know, I’m fancy now. Hahaha..
Trofie Nero ligurian crustacean ragu, seppia, scallops, spiced mollica – Unfortunately, since I didn’t write this review right away, I have pretty much forgotten all the exact details of the dishes. So I’ll have to give you overall impressions. Since I was here, a lot has happened and my brain simply can’t retain all these little details anymore. I think I need to take more pictures, write more notes, etc if I’m not writing my review right away. However the problem with that is that it takes away from the actual dining experience. Simply put, I have to get the bulk of my review thoughts out right after eating at the place. Otherwise it just doesn’t work as well for me. Anyway, enough crying, this dish was ok. I remember liking it, but still feeling hungry after eating it and I don’t recall necessarily loving it or being mind blown.
Polpo octopus a la plancha, fregola, radish, sugo di tonnato – I liked the octopus dish, this one caught my attention a little bit more, and my wife seemed to like it too, but again, no minds were blown here.
For dessert I had the dish below, it came with this little cracker, sorbet, and some berries. It was good, a decent portion for someone like me who is trying to get back in shape, and it sort of capped off the dinner nicely.
The thing I remember most about this place was the service and the ambiance. The service is definitely top notch, the staff is accommodating and attentive. No matter how much time passes you cannot forget that feeling of “We are here to take care of you” that they impart through outstanding service. It was nice to come and try out this place, the food left a good impression, but for the amount of money you are putting out here, I really expected to be completely mind blown!
Mind you, this isn’t the first time that I went to a fancy place that didn’t totally mind blow me, Nobu was good, but left me feeling more or less the same way. Otto Enoteca, same thing, left disappointed! Consequently Nobu’s was another review that I didn’t put out right away, maybe it’s like that if I’m not super mind blown? LOL. I don’t know, maybe I am getting spoiled by hanging out with celebrity chefs and eating personally made dishes? Who knows, but take Morimoto for instance, I still remember the rock shrimp from there, that really caught my attention and me and Christine loved it! In fact I’ve taken her there on her birthday several times because we want those rock shrimp! What about those amazing Wellington’s at Maze?? Oh man, I really loved those! Bobby Flay’s restaurant Mesa Grill has a corn dish that had us all amazed.
So it’s hit or miss with fancy smancy places I guess. Perhaps for a special occasion I’ll try this spot again, but I can’t see myself dropping big money like this if I don’t leave the place completely mind blown. It’s just not economical nor logical. I wish I could give you more exact details, but old age, bad memory, just don’t work in my favor at times. I recently saw an episode of The Dose with Dr Billy on Upwave HLN where they covered memory, I’ll need to practice those techniques!
Growing Up Bronx